Jundab b. Junada, Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari - Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari embraced Islam in Makkah after hearing about the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) and his new message of Monotheism. His spiritual quest began, however, three years before his first meeting with the Prophet (s.a.w), where he is said to have prayed to the ‘God of the heavens’ and not to idols.
Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari was the fourth person to embrace Islam in Makkah, hence his Arabic nickname “Rabi' al-Islam.” In the “Pact of Brotherhood” which took place in Madinah between the helpers (Ansar) and the immigrants (Muhajirun), Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari was paired with Salman al-Farsi. It is possible that this pairing took place after Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari was initially paired with Mundhir b. Amru al-Khazraji.
Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari's loyalty to, and companionship with, Imam Ali (a.s) was highlighted after the death of the Prophet (s.a.w) when he and another eleven companions rejected AbuBakr’s Caliphate. Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari defended the divine designation of Imam Ali (a.s) and refused to accept the legitimacy of other forms of political and spiritual authority.
Tensions between Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari and ʽUthman arose during the latter’s Caliphate. Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari openly challenged ʽUthman’s unorthodox practises and deviations from the Prophetic Sunnah. ʽUthman’s response was to banish Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari from Madinah to a relatively unknown village near Sham (Syria). Despite the geographical distance, Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari's criticisms of ʽUthman’s policies continued until he was summoned to Madinah once again by ʽUthman who re-banished him to a small village near Syria called al-Rabdha. Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari remained in that city until he passed away in the year 32 AH.
Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari was renowned for his unflinching commitment to speak the truth, so much so that the Holy Prophet is reported to have said;
‘None under the sun is more righteous in speech than Abu Dharr’.
Salman al-Farsi (Salman al-Muhammadi) - Salman al-Farsi was born in the Persian city of Isfahan. His birth name was Ruzbah Khashnavadar. He left Isfahan in search of knowledge and true religion and finally settled in Madinah after meeting the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) and embracing Islam. According to the majority of Muslim historians Salman al-Farsi lived up until the age of 350.
His conversion to Islam took place in Madinah, where he was paired with Abi Dardaʼ first then with Abu Dharr sometime later. He refused to accept Abu Bakr’s Caliphate after the death of the Prophet (s.a.w) and made his loyalty to Imam Ali (a.s) public knowledge. When AbuBakr assumed the office of Caliphate, Salman al-Farsi challenged him openly and disputed his claim to rule the Muslim Ummah. Historians recall an incident when Salman al-Farsi argued with AbuBakr in public and advised him to fear God and know that he was not fit for rule.
Salman al-Farsi was made governor of al-Madaʼin (Iraq) during the reign of the second Caliph ʽUmar. In al-Madaʼin he lived a simple life working as a weaver, preferring to work hard for his earnings. This quality of Salman al-Farsi earned him tremendous respect from both the Prophet and his companions. During his stay in Madinah, Salman al-Farsi did not own a house and escaped the desert heat by taking refuge under trees and walls.
Salman al-Farsi passed away in al-Madaʼin in the year 32 AH. His funeral prayers were led by Imam Ali (a.s).
Khalid b. Saʽid b. al-As - Khalid b. Saʽid b. al-Aas b. ʼUmmayya b. ʽAbd al-Shams b. ʽAbd ManAf b. Qusay b. Kallab b. Murra b. Kaʽab b. Luʼay, also known as Abu Saʼid al-Qarashi al-ʼUmawi, was one of the earliest converts to Islam in Makkah.
It is said that Khalid b. Saʽid b. al-Aas testified to the Oneness of God and the Prophethood of Muhammed (s.a.w) after a disturbing dream in which he was saved from the fire by the Prophet (s.a.w). In the same dream he saw his father trying to force him into the blazing fires.
His father, Saʽid b. al-Aas, was a prominent member of Makkah’s aristocracy. He did not embrace Islam, even though five of his sons followed in their brother’s footsteps and stood by the Prophet (s.a.w) in his struggles against the Pagans and disbelievers.
Khalid b. Saʽid b. al-Aas migrated to Abyssinia with the early community of believers in order to escape his father’s wrath and those who despised the new religion. During his stay in Abyssinia his wife bore him a boy and a girl.
He fought alongside the Prophet (s.a.w) in the battles of Hunayn, Taʼif, and Tabuk. The Prophet assigned him to collect the Sadaqat from Yemen but news of the Prophet’s (s.a.w) death reached him before he reached his destination. He cut his journey short and returned to Madinah to side with Imam Ali (a.s). He rejected the Caliphate of Abu Bakr and publically denounced his supporters by accusing them of supporting an illegitimate ruler.
Khalid b. Saʽid b. al-Aas died in the year 13 AH.
Al-Miqdad b. al-Aswad - Al-Miqdad b. al-Aswad is the adopted name of al-Miqdad b. Amru b. Thʽalab b.Saʽad al-Kindi. Al-Aswad b. Yaghuth al-Zuhri adopted al-Miqdad before Islam and Al-Miqdad was known thereafter as the Al-Miqdad son of Al-Aswad’.
Al-Miqdad b. al-Aswad was one of the earliest converts to Islam and a person of a high moral standing. He fought alongside the Prophet (s.a.w) in Badr and the battles thereafter. He showed exemplary bravery in that battle when he vowed to protect and fight alongside the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) against the enemies of Allah. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w) wedded him to Zabaʽa, the daughter of Zubayr b. Abd al-Muttalib.
In Madinah, the Prophet (s.a.w) paired him with Jabbar b. Saghr in the “Pact of Brotherhood.” Moreover, the Prophet (s.a.w) is reported to have included Al-Miqdad b. al-Aswad as one of four persons whom the Prophet (s.a.w) was ordered to love.
Al-Miqdad b. al-Aswad did not accept the authority of Abu Bakr and publically denounced him after the latter unlawfully assumed the position of Caliphate. Al-Miqdad b. al-Aswad allegiances to Imam Ali (a.s) were second to none - so much so that the Imam is reported to have praised Al-Miqdad b. al-Aswad for his profound faith and certitude in Islam’s truthfulness.
He passed away just outside of Madinah in the year 33 AH.
Burayda b. al-Hasib - Burayda b. Al-Hasib b. ʽAbd Allah al-ʼAslami, also known as AbuʽAbd Allah, was the flag bearer of the al-ʼAslam tribe in Arabia. He was a committed follower of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) and Imam Ali (a.s). He fought alongside the Prophet in Khaybar and witnessed the conquest of Makkah.
AbuʽAbd Allah refused to accept the legitimacy of AbuBakr’s Caliphate after the death of the Holy Prophet. It is reported that upon hearing the announcement about the death of the Holy Prophet, AbuʽAbd Allah placed his tribe’s flag outside the house of Imam Ali, (a.s) symbolising his allegiances to true successor of the Holy Prophet. However, he was forced to remove it after threats and intimidations.
AbuʽAbd Allah rallied against Abu Bakr and condemned his usurpation of the Caliphate. In one report AbuʽAbd Allah is believed to have accused Abu Bakr of acting against the orders of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w).
AbuʽAbd Allah lived the reminder of his life in Khurasan, Merv. He died in the year 63AH.
Ammar b. Yasir al-Ansi - Ammar b. Yasir b. Amir b. Malik al-Ansi was one of the four companions whom the Prophet (s.a.w) was ordered to love according to a hadith.
He was one of the earliest converts to Islam, alongside his parents, and is regarded by all Muslim historians as one of the first martyrs in Islam. Ammar b. Yasir b. Amir b. Malik al-Ansi's parents were tortured and later killed by Makkan disbelievers for refusing to curse the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) and dissociate himself from the religion of Islam.
Ammar b. Yasir b. Amir b. Malik al-Ansi was himself the subject of torture inflicted upon him by the arch enemies of Islam. It is reported that Ammar b. Yasir b. Amir b. Malik al-Ansi was at times brutally beaten and whipped in the scorching desert heat regions of Arabia in order to intensify his pain and suffering.
Ammar b. Yasir b. Amir b. Malik al-Ansi fought alongside both the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) and Imam Ali (a.s) in all important battles. He was killed in the “Battle of Siffin” by Muʼawiyah’s troops. His death was prophesied by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w), who is reported to have said on more than one occasion, ''you will be killed by the deviant group.”
The Holy Prophet praised Ammar b. Yasir b. Amir b. Malik al-Ansi on a number of occasions, for his committed devotion to Islam and in a prophetic message the Holy Prophet said: “ʽAmmar’s body is filled with faith.”
Ammar b. Yasir b. Amir b. Malik al-Ansi died in Siffīn in the year 37AH.
Khuzayma b. Thabit, Dhu ‘l-Shahadatayn - Khuzayma b. Thabit al-Ansari, ‘The one who equals two witnesses’ was one of the companions of the Prophet (s.a.w) who reported the event of Ghadir Khumm. He was of the Ansar in Madinah and remained loyal to the Prophet (s.a.w) throughout his life. After the demise of the Prophet (s.a.w), Khuzayma b. Thabit al-Ansari refused to pay allegiance to Abu Bakr. He remained loyal to Imam Ali (a.s) as the true heir to the Messenger.
It is said that he publicly denounced Abu Bakr’s illegitimate claim to the Caliphate by narrating the tradition of Ghadir Khumm. His nickname, ‘The one who equals two witnesses’ was given to him by the Prophet (s.a.w) when Khuzayma b. Thabit al-Ansari bore witnesses to an incident between the Prophet and a Bedouin, who accused the Prophet (s.a.w) of lying.
Khuzayma b. Thabit al-Ansari was made a general in Imam Ali’s (a.s) army in the “Battle of the Camel.” He was martyred in 657 AD in the “Battle of Siffin” fighting alongside Imam Ali (a.s).
Sahl b. Hunayf, Abu Amama al-Ansari - Sahlf b. Hunayfa al-Ansari al-Awsi was born during the life of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w). He remained sincere to the Prophet (s.a.w) throughout the his life and message. He fought in Badr and all other battles alongside the Prophet’s (s.a.w) army.
Sahlf b. Hunayfa al-Ansari al-Awsi was committed to Imam Ali (a.s) and fought alongside him in the “Battle in Siffīn.” Imam Ali (a.s) appointed him the governor of Madinah. He rejected the Caliphate of Abu Bakr.
Sahlf b. Hunayfa al-Ansari al-Awsi moved to Kufa where he died in the year 38 AH.
Abu Ayyub al-Ansari - Abu Ayyub al-Ansari was born Khalif b. Zayd b. Kulayb to the tribe of Banu Najjar, who were distant relatives of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) through his mother. Upon arriving in Madinah, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) stayed with Abu Ayyub al-Ansari for seven months as his guest of honour.
He led a distinguished military career and fought alongside the Holy Prophet in all his battles. After the demise of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w), Abu Ayyub al-Ansari rallied around Imam Ali (a.s) and rejected Abu Bakr’s Caliphate.
Abu Ayyub al-Ansari died during the Muslim conquests of Byzantine and was buried in Constantinople in the year 647 AD.
Abu Haytham al-Tihyan - Abu Haytham, Malik b. al-Tihyan al-Awsi al-Ansari was one of the first of the companions of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) who pledged allegiance to him in ‘Aqaba. He rejected the Caliphate of Abu Bakr publicly and rallied around Imam Ali (a.s) and his close companions. He died fighting alongside Imam Ali (a.s) in the “Battle of Siffīn in” the year 657 AD.
Ubay b. kaʽab al-Ansari - Ubay b. Kaʽab al-Ansari, also known as Abu Mundhir and Sayyid al-qura’ (master of the reciters) was a close and a highly respect companion of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) and Imam Ali (a.s). It is narrated that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) said, ‘the most able reciter of Qur’an amongst you is ‘Ubay b. Kaʽab’.
He was one the twelve companions who denounced the seizure of political office by Abu Bakr. ‘Ubay b. Kaʽab al-Ansari confronted AbuBakr with the following words,
‘do not usurp that which Allah assigned for other than you, and do not become the first to disobey the command of the messenger of God who appointed a successor’.
Ubay b. Kaʽab al-Ansari died during the reign of ʽUmar in the year 22AH.
Qays b. Saʽad b. Ubada - Qays b. Saʽad b. Ubada was the son of the famous companion and leader of Khazraj tribe, Saʽad b. Ubada. Qays b. Saʽad b. Ubada was renowned for his battlefield bravery and served as the Ansar flag-bearer in the battlefields. During the reign of ʽUmar he was made governor of Egypt. He rallied a military contingent of five thousand men in order to support Imam Hassan (a.s) against Mu’awiya, but the battle did not follow.
Qays b. Saʽad b. Ubada was also renowned for his quick wit and sharp intelligence. He was one of the twelve men who denounced the seizure of power by Abu Bakr. He lived the reminder of his life in Madinah, where he passed away.